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Lao Athlete Tests Positive For Covid-19 Upon Return From Russia

Source: Vientiane Times

A 29-year-old Army athlete on Friday confirmed positive for Covid-19 upon his return from Russia.

Army athletes from Laos were in Russia for almost a month to take part in Army Games-2020.

The sample for the Lao athlete was tested on September 10, the National Task Force for Covid-19 Prevention and Control told a press conference.

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The patient is being treated at Mittaphab Hospital along with another Covid-19 patient. With this new case, the tally of Covid-19 cases in Laos has shot up to 23, of which 21 people have been successfully treated and discharged.

Around 104 people have been placed in the at-risk category. Of these, 101 people were on board the flight with the athlete. The flight landed from Vietnam in Laos on September 8. The other three are bus drivers who ferried the athletes from the airport to quarantine centres.

“All their samples were taken and tested,” the Deputy Director-General of the Communicable Diseases Control Department, Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Soutthanilaxay, told a press conference.

Though all 101 passengers on board were in Covid-19 protective gear or PPE suits, they will be quarantined as they came in from countries which have been impacted by the pandemic.

Of those placed in the risk-category, four had close contact with the patient – two were roommates at the quarantine centre and another two sat next to the patient on the flight.

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Dr Sisavath said the athlete got infected outside Laos, as all athletes had tested negative prior to their trip to Russia. Tests taken shortly upon their arrival in Russia were also negative. The athletes underwent three tests in Russia. However, the infected Lao athlete had Hepatitis B prior to his departure to Russia.

The delegation of the Lao athletes flew out of Vientiane on August 8. It transited in Vietnam before arriving in Russia the next day by a Vietnamese shutter flight. In Russia, the Lao athletes did not stay with athletes of other countries.

On August 26, the infected Lao athlete complained of fever, consulted a doctor and got better after medication.

The Lao athletes departed from Russia and flew into Vientiane via Vietnam. There were over 200 passengers on board, including around 100 Vietnamese. Lao passengers did not get off the plane and it flew into Vientiane after a brief stopover.

Dr Sisavath urged all sectors to follow the control measures that have been put in place by authorities to tackle Covid-19 in view of the rising cases in neighbouring countries, including some Asean nations.

As of Friday afternoon, Covid-19 outbreak has been reported in 213 countries and territories worldwide. More than 28.2 million people have tested positive and more than 912,000 people have died. Around 20.3 million patients have been discharged, according to the director.